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Career and life transition

When you're midlife and mid-career, your crisis may come from outside events, such as layoffs or illness. Other times you've outgrown your life and want to move on.

Spring gets promoted as a time of new beginnings -- and it's a fragile season. Buds appear on trees, only to become leaves in a matter of days. Cherry blossoms, forsythia, and daffodils seem to last just long enough for us to learn their names.

Considering a career change but don't know what to do next? Midlife, mid-career clients often begin their search by asking, "Can I take a test to learn what career wold be best for me?"

You've probably been taught not to stereotype people based on race, religion or sex. But when you make a career or other life choice, do you still make decisions based on stereotypes?

We've all had the experience of pulling the right string and watching a knotty tangle unravel all at once.

Have you ever noticed that authors of "how-to" best-sellers create their own rituals?

I hear this comment frequently from clients who call me. Here's what I suggest to them.

When you embark on a life transition, the skills that brought you success in a former life will no longer work. It's like trying to play football on a basketball team.

Transitions usually involve physical work: packing, driving, running errands. And there's emotional upheaval: saying good-by, facing fears, wrapping up paperwork.

You may have heard the saying, "Leap and the Net Will Appear." Generally, that guidance encourages us to make a creative leap: start writing your novel, begin a painting class, start a fitness program. As you become immersed in your project, your intuition awakens and you find new ways to express your creativity.

Before Linda Tripp and Ken Starr entered her world, Monica Lewinsky was headed for a public relations job at Revlon. She would have been one among many attractuve young women climbing the corporate ladder, anonymously.

" I know I'm going to be laid off in a few months. I have no idea what I'm going to do."

"In the factory we make lipstick; in the drugstore we sell hope." That's what Charles Revson, Revlon's founder, supposedly said.

Midlife career change can be scary!
But fear is nothing to be afraid of.

Coping with age, yes --
but where's the advantage?

When you're feeling stuck and want to get free:
Don't spin wheels! Get out and push.

Midlife career change:
On the journey to career freedom, you won't travel alone.

Career change can feel like beginning to date after you end a long marriage.

"It's your midlife career change: do you jump or hold on?"

Some people reserve the word "vocation" for religious calling. Modern career planning encourages people to think of a "life purpose" that guides and gives meaning to a life, regardless of career.

Many of us are influenced by the sports ethic: Never give up! When a basketball team is down by 20 with 30 seconds on the clock, the players never stop working. The spectators might be filing out, and the winning team might be playing the reserves, but the game goes on.

When midlife career change feels like getting a divorce

Many countries hold annual celebrations of independence, with picnics, parades, and fireworks.
Some people celebrate their own independence, every day.

I won't claim that Center Stage is a great movie (the reviews were mixed), but I enjoyed the behind-the-scenes realism and the fable of career transition.

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